The Maldives has officially launched a nationwide tree plantation programme to plant over five million trees in the next five years to celebrate World Environment Day. The initiative, a cornerstone of the Mohamed Muizzu administration’s environmental policies, was inaugurated at a ceremony in the Lonuziyaaraiy Park in Malé by President Muizzu and First Lady Sajidha Mohamed.

The primary objective of this ambitious programme is to safeguard the Maldives’ fragile environment and to mitigate the impacts of climate change for both current and future generations. President Muizzu announced the commitment to plant five million trees at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in late 2023.

During the inauguration event, Minister of Climate Change, Environment, and Energy Thoriq Ibrahim stressed the importance of widespread public participation for the programme’s success. He called for involvement from civil society, private entities, local councils, and government offices and institutions to ensure the programme’s effectiveness.

As part of the inauguration, 20 species of trees were planted, and Minister Ibrahim highlighted that over 90 species of trees, including those facing extinction threats, will be planted across the country. The programme aims to extend tree plantation activities to inhabited islands, tourist resorts, and industrial areas nationwide, he added.

“At sites of developmental projects, we will prioritise planting trees and implementing greenery programmes. On newly reclaimed land on islands, we will aid in greening urban areas. We are committed to transforming barren lands into tranquil environments,” said Minister Ibrahim.

Minister Ibrahim also outlined plans to establish tree nurseries in three regions across the country to ensure an adequate supply of trees for the programme. Additionally, he noted that the ministry will closely monitor the progress and growth of the trees planted under the programme over the next five years. The Muizzu administration is committed to achieving carbon neutrality, protecting mangroves, and ensuring proper waste management in the Maldives, he added.